The recent announcement of the go-ahead to build Britain’s first new nuclear power plant in over 20 years has been welcomed by the UK construction industry although it is clear that much of the work will go to foreign firms.
Ken Owen, commercial director for nuclear new build at EDF Energy told the Guardian:
There are a lot of critical components where quite frankly the UK has lost its capability. We don’t mind that because we know there is capability from a global perspective…
However, the UK construction industry, in the form of the CITB, already has plans to address this critical skill shortage by introducing yet another series of tests and certificates which are impossible to fail and don’t mean anything.
The Triple bar nuclear new build sites (TBNNBS) Test
One such scheme, already established, is the Triple Bar Nuclear Test which will be mandatory for everyone working on a nuclear site. It isn’t clear what ‘working on a nuclear site’ will entail but going on past form it will likely mean anyone who wants a job anywhere near a nuclear site – even if it entails ‘shifting muck’ for a nearby car park or accommodation block.
The test consists of 3 elements:
- Basic Common Induction (BCI)
- Basic Nuclear Industry in Context (BNIC)
- Basic Nuclear Industry Behaviours (BNIB)
The test will last for 30 minutes and have 27 multiple-choice questions. And, of course, there is a fee of £17.50.
To prepare for the test you’ll need register your details and then watch a series of videos published by the National Skills Academy Nuclear. The test can be booked via the CITB site and is similar to the procedure for the CSCS Test.
Further plans are afoot to develop and introduce training courses for specialist concrete workers, steel fixers and formwork specialists; there will also be an initiative to recruit ex-military personnel. Watch this space for further developments…